The shift from summer to the start of school might bring questions and concerns about your child’s academic performance. It’s important that parents be empowered to advocate for their child’s needs in and out of the classroom. This may seem intimidating, but here are some steps and resources to help prepare you be the best advocate you can be for your child.
- Understand what it means to advocate. Let’s start with the basics: What does the term “advocate mean? To advocate for your child simply means to speak up about concerns. You don’t have know everything about advocacy, but simply be confident in what your child needs. Start by talking with your child’s teacher.
- It’s OK to speak up and ask questions.Your involvement in your child’s education is crucial. If you have any concerns, express them as they arise. Don’t feel as if you’re overstepping. Speak up as much as needed. “The only wrong question is the one you don’t ask.” It’s important to understand what’s happening at school. If you’re worried about specific things, write them down. Share these details with confidence when you have the opportunity. Your child’s long-term progression can start strong by collaborating with teachers.
- Speak with a trusted source. Find someone you’re able to confide in about your potential concerns. Wondering where to start? The first step is seeing up a time to discuss your concerns with your child’s teacher. By building a relationship with the teacher or school administrator, you’ll have the confidence to begin difficult conversations, if needed. Talking with another parent, friend, or member of the community you trust can be helpful as well.
- Don’t be afraid to show emotion. Be respectful. Advocating for your child can be emotionally challenging. It’s OK to show your emotions, but it’s important to stay calm and find a solution for your concerns.
- Document your interactions. Keep track of your communication with the school and administrators. Create a file to keep any paperwork and correspondence for future reference. Also, write down who you have talked to and when. Putting your requests and concerns in writing is also a good practice.
Here are some additional resources:
- Being an effective advocate for your child
- Empowering parents to become effective advocates
- How parent empowerment can change your classroom for the better
Learn Through Play Daily Activities: September
Help children learn through play by using one of the following age-specific monthly calendars that feature daily activities.
- Learn Through Play Calendar: Infant
- Learn Through Play Calendar: Toddler
- Learn Through Play Calendar: Preschool